Balsamic Glazed Mediterranean Chicken Bake

Photo and recipe by Becky Hardin - The Cookie Rookie
When I hit the wall last week in the kitchen, I needed help. Serious help. I go through periods where I walk through the grocery store, throw stuff in my cart and then seem to be able to pull a reasonable dinner off every night without really thinking about it. 

Then there are other times I am totally brain dead. I can't remember what I usually cook or how to invent something from what I have lying around. So frustrating. Starting sometime last week, I found myself firmly planted in the latter.  What to do?

I decided to make a list of 5 recipes from those I'd noticed on the internet or through links that friends had been sending me to try this week.  It was pretty easy to decide which five I wanted to try. Then I made a shopping list and headed to the grocery store.

A few were great.  Some just weren't that special so I probably won't make them again.  Then there were a few that didn't come out quite right, but the flavour was good so I'll play with them to see what I can come up with.  

Balsamic Glazed Mediterranean Chicken Bake was super easy and got a thumbs up from my husband and one of my adult kids who were over for dinner and a movie night. While you can serve it with pasta or rice, it's carbless on it's own and pretty filling. 

I did switch up the cheese. Mozzarella pearls don't have a ton of flavour on their own, so I offered everyone the choice between that cheese and some goat cheese crumbles. I personally liked the goat cheese better as it had more pop.  But each to their own.

My only negative was the recipe doesn't say whether to drain the marinated artichokes (I added the marinate for flavour) and I felt the final dish with the extra broth thrown in had a bit too much liquid.  So I may try less chicken broth next time.


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Balsamic Glazed Mediterranean Chicken Bake

Ingredients - 

1/2 C           Balsamic vinegar
1 T               Olive Oil
6                  Boneless skinless chicken breasts (can use thighs but I would get more than 6 then)
Salt and pepper to taste
1                  14 oz can or jar of marinated artichoke hearts
1/2               Red onion thinly sliced
1                  Pint cherry tomatoes left whole (might want less, play this one by ear)
1                  14 oz. can white beans drained & rinsed
3/4 C           Whole salted cashews
1-1/2 C        Chicken broth
1 C               Mozzarella pearls (original recipe) or Goat Cheese Crumbles (my choice)
4                   Fresh sprigs of fresh oregano chopped

Instructions - 

Marinate the chicken breast in balsamic vinegar for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Heat olive oil in large skillet and brown the chicken on both sides for about 2 minutes on each side. (The chicken will be browned, but not cooked through. it will finish cooking in the oven.)

In a 9x13 casserole dish, add beans, cashews, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and onion. Nestle the browned chicken into the casserole dish, allowing it to just sit on top of all the other ingredients. Brush with more balsamic vinegar. Add the chicken broth to the dish and lay in the oregano.

Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Remove from the oven and add in the mozzarella.

Serve over rice, pasta, or just by itself!!